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Scaling Root Planning

Instructions Following Scaling and Root Planing


            Whew!  We have completed the hard part!  We have already explained why we do deep cleanings and the problems in your mouth specifically, but please feel free to ask any questions about your treatment at any time. As you know, it is very important that we improve and maintain the health of your gums.  Our scaling and root planing has removed the deposits from underneath your gums, and now it is your responsibility to keep the areas clean.


            You might feel some discomfort in your gum areas, but it should subside in a few hours to a few days. If the doctor injected an anesthetic, the numbness usually wears off in 2 to 4 hours.  Avoid eating or drinking during this time.  If the hygienist used a topical anesthetic on your gums, the numbness will not last as long as an injection would.  If your gums are tender, a softer diet may feel better for a few days.  Ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be taken to reduce any discomfort, as long as these medications are not contraindicated by your primary care physician.  Your teeth may be sensitive to hot, cold or sweets for a few days. If any of these symptoms do not subside after a week, or if you are having any other oral discomfort, please notify our office immediately.


            Your gums may bleed during brushing and flossing for a few days. Thoroughly brush your teeth at least twice a day, always after breakfast and before bed, using a gentle touch.  Flossing should be resumed as soon as possible to keep the gums clean where the toothbrush bristles cannot reach.  Make a C-shape with the floss, cleaning underneath the gums until you meet resistance, and then move the floss up and down the side of each tooth.  We may recommend rinsing with warm salt water or Chlorhexidine (an antimicrobial mouthrinse) for two weeks.


            If we have placed the antibiotic Arestin in your deep pockets, be sure not to brush your teeth until bedtime.  Do not floss the areas around the teeth where the Arestin was placed.  All other areas should be flossed if possible.  Flossing can resume in the Arestin areas after 10 days.


            Another important part of this treatment and healing process is maintaining your schedule of appointments.  A missed appointment can result in failure of the gum treatment.  If you need to change the time of your appointment, we appreciate at least two business days notice.


Maintaining a healthy mouth is a team effort. Thank you for doing your part!